Review: A Sanctuary for Soulden (The Lords of the Bucknall Club #4) by J. A. Rock an Lisa Henry
Philip Winthrop, Viscount Soulden, is a fop. An idle popinjay with nothing more on his mind than how to best knot his cravat. He definitely doesn’t spy against the French. Or arrange hasty weddings. Or occasionally commandeer the navy. And he certainly doesn’t seek out mortal danger in order to combat his pervasive ennui. It’s all just a big misunderstanding when he’s shot by a French intelligence officer during a merry riverside chase. And what a wonderful bit of quick thinking to pretend to be a corpse in order to get himself taken to the local surgeon’s autopsy cellar. The French will never find him there. If the French are even looking for him. Which they’re not. Now he just needs to locate a way out before this surgeon fellow attempts to dissect him.
He’d rather deal with the dead than the living.
Surgeon Edmund Fernside does his best to heal the living, but in truth, he’d much rather look into the gaping chest cavity of a corpse than into the startling blue eyes of a…corpse that just climbed off his autopsy table. Well then. Lord Soulden is clearly a man with some complicated secrets. But with the French in hot pursuit and a rather brutal gunshot wound, Soulden’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and Fernside discovers that he enjoys the pleasure of his company. In more ways than one.
Now, trusting each other could mean the difference between life and death.
As Soulden learns to be still for the first time in his life, Fernside wonders if perhaps it’s time to spread his wings a little. They can only hide from the outside world—and from their pasts—for so long before the secrets they’ve uncovered about each other strain the growing attraction between them. Each man must decide whether a life of comfortable lies is preferable to one full of difficult truths. And whether the sanctuary they’ve created together is something worth fighting for.
“A Sanctuary for Soulden” is the fourth book in the Lords of Bucknall Club series, where the Regency meets m/m romance. The Lords of Bucknall Club can be read in any order.
Dear J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry
This is the fourth book in the series, but you can read it in any order. Some of the gentlemen from the Bucknall club appear in other books as secondary characters, but really when they appear as secondary characters it is only to participate in the plot which moves the romance forward for whatever characters are the main characters in the given book, so you won’t miss anything if you read the books out of order. And all you need to know about the world building is that it is your standard romance regency fare with the addition of m/m romance. In fact the world building in the previous books gave me some headache, so maybe it is better if you did not read those.
Actually come to think of this I liked book two in the series almost as much as I liked this one, so it appears that I liked even numbered books (2 and 4) way better than books one and three. One thing I can pin point is more likable characters (to me) and the fact that books two and four just accept the gay relationship in this world as a given rather than accepting it when the needs of the plot demand.
Philip Winthrop Viscount Soulden appeared in the third book and even then I knew that he was probably much nicer person than he pretended to be because his actions to help the main couple of the book three spoke well for him. In this book he is the main character whose life is in danger due to doing some work for the government.
When Philip is shot by unknown villain (although as blurb tells you such villain is most likely to be French) he is brought (as an alleged corpse) to the home of Edmund Fernside, the surgeon, and of course the pair ends up falling in love.
I actually really liked both men in this book. They certainly had their issues, but to me they sounded and acted as adults. For all Philip’s pretense to act a certain way in society as we saw in the book three, here we note that most of it was just that – a pretense. Philip has to confront some of the things about himself and his past actions and learn to accept himself as he was while trying to see if his relationship may have a future. As I said I liked both men, but I actually found Philip’s issues more interesting than Edmund’s. Maybe I just saw Edmund’s issues as something that had been covered in romance many times and Philip’s a little less often? Not sure. Regardless, I thought they had a very nice chemistry and I wished them a long and happy life together.
“He lay back on the bed, breathing hard. Philip wiped his hand on the quilt and crawled up next to him, lying so that their shoulders touched and they were both staring at the ceiling. After a moment, Philip tilted his head toward him. “Are you satisfied?” Fernside couldn’t answer for a few seconds. “Very.” Philip turned to the ceiling again. “I’m glad.” “Was I…” He couldn’t think how to ask the question he really didn’t want to ask at all. “Passionate enough?” Philip twisted his neck again and groaned into Fernside’s shoulder. “What a swine I was to you earlier. You are a delight, my dear. A revelation. I’m so very sorry for what I said.””